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RICK PERRY’S Fundraising Prowess: Big Donors Central To His Success – ABC News

August 18, 2011

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican presidential candidate, speaks in Bedford, N.H., Aug. 17, 2011. (Cheryl Senter/AP Photo)

Rick Perry’s Fundraising Prowess: Big Donors Central to His Success

By AMY BINGHAM

Aug. 18, 2011

Gov. Rick Perry is not only the longest-serving governor in Texas history, but also the most successful campaign fundraiser, records show.

In a state that places no limits on how much donors can give to campaigns, Perry has brought in more than $100 million during his 10-year tenure, almost half coming from large donations of at least $100,000.

“He is the most successful campaign fundraiser in the history of Texas politics, hands down,” said Craig McDonald, director of Texans for Public Justice.

But Perry’s statewide success might not translate into big bucks nationally, where federal campaign-finance rules limit donations to $2,500 per person.

Brad Smith, chairman of the Center for Competitive Politics and former chairman of the Federal Election Commission, said Perry’s success will hinge on his ability to transition from primarily relying on a small cadre of big-money donors to capturing the broad base of small donors that is essential to winning a national race.

“What you’ll see is over time if he’s not good at raising smaller contributions he’ll probably fade because they show popular support,” Smith said. “If people aren’t willing to give you money, they probably are not going to vote for you either.”

He said candidates who are more on the ideological fringes of the Republican Party, such as Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, tend to be better at tapping into the small donor base.

“Typically, the big-money guys are the moderate, middle-of-the-road people,” Smith said. “The candidates who can raise lots and lots of money are the ones who get people ideologically motivated like Ron Paul.”

via Rick Perry’s Fundraising Prowess: Big Donors Central To His Success – ABC News.

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